An entertaining draw at Thorp Arch.
Premier League 2
Leeds United 2 (Dean 29’, Greenwood 70’ pen)
West Ham United 2 (Ashby 49’, Baptiste 54’)
Leeds: Klaesson, Drameh, Hjelde, Bate, Cresswell (c) (McCarron 45’), Kenneh, Dean, McKinstry, Gelhardt, Greenwood, Miller (Summerville 61’).
Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel, Allen, Moore.
West Ham: Hegyi (GK), Ashby, Longelo, Baptiste, Laing, Alese (c), Chesters, Ekwah, Swyer (Dju 83’) Forson, Oko-Flex.
Subs not used: Kinnear (GK), Rosa, Diallo.
Mark Jackson’s Under-23s side returned to action at Thorp Arch, following the recent international break which saw a number of the side representing their respective countries.
A first start was given to latest arrival Leo Hjelde who arrived from Celtic towards the of the window, and he joined in a strong looking defensive line for the Whites.
The Hammers got on the front foot from kick-off and were the first to have a strike on goal. Top scorer, Armstrong Oko-Flex cut inside from the wing and struck a left-footed effort, which Kristoffer Klaesson saved well.
Up the other end, Lewis Bate had the first shot for Leeds, but his strike went over the bar before Sam Greenwood tried his luck from a free-kick, hitting the wall. Minutes later, Klaesson saved well again, this time from Dan Chesters.
An entertaining match finally got the goal it had deserved with just over 15 minutes until the half-time whistle.
Max Dean began the move well and passed to Bate, who chipped a ball out to the wing where Stuart McKinstry controlled well and crossed in for Dean to head home at the back post, and put Leeds ahead.
👏 Max Dean! Never gives up! pic.twitter.com/g5dcMPyrQG— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 11, 2021
McKinstry looked to cause more issues after the goal and was tormenting the visiting defence, creating chances for his side. However, the best opportunity before the whistle went the way of Oko-Flex again, but he saw his header saved by Klaesson.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-0 West Ham United
The second half began in the worst possible way for Jackson’s side, with the hosts turning the game around inside the opening 10 minutes.
The leveller came from an excellent free-kick, curled into the top corner by Harrison Ashby, despite protests about the award of the set-piece.
Just five minutes after that, another set-play would be the undoing of the Whites. After losing his marker, Jamal Baptiste entered the six-yard box unmarked and was presented with a free header to power home and he did just that to put the Hammers ahead.
A first period full of chances saw the next one go the way of first half scorer, Dean, but his close range effort was saved after the chance was well created by substitute Liam McCarron.
Following his good work in the first half, McKinstry played a key part in the equaliser for the Whites. After winning it back in midfield, he played Gelhardt through and the striker was brought down in the box for a penalty.
From the spot, up stepped Sam Greenwood who made no mistake, giving the ‘keeper no chance by smashing it into the top corner and the game was level again.
As the game edged towards its conclusion, two late chances fell the way of the Whites, both from corners. McCarron was the first to have a header on goal which was well saved, before the following corner was connected with powerfully by Nohan Kenneh which struck the bar.
The whistle was blown shortly after in an entertaining clash at Thorp Arch.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 2-2 West Ham United
Venue: Thorp Arch
Referee: Steve Copeland
Booked: Miller, Dean, McKinstry (Leeds) Baptiste, Hegyi, Longelo (West Ham)